The levels of life by Julian Barnes
Published: September 24th 2013 by Knopf
Genre: Non-fiction, Science, Memoir, Self-help, Psychology
“You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed. People may not notice at the time, but that doesn’t matter. The world has been changed nonetheless.”
Life has its highs and lows as the title suggests, there are levels to life and the highs without a doubt comes in love and the lows lies in the grief. And to quote from the book “It hurts exactly as much as it is worth”. This is a short and bittersweet book, and at the same time it is very heavy.
“But if being on the level didn’t shield you from pain, maybe it was better to be up in the clouds.”
Divided into three parts:
In the first part “The sin of height” we go on a balloon journey and change our point of view and therefore our outlook. And just as I think it was intended, I found this the most enlightening and hopeful part. “On the level” keeps us in a back and forth between two lovers and transitions us from the high to a low. “The loss of depth” then examines every part of grief from all it’s angles. The third part had me in tears.
“Nature is so exact, it hurts exactly as much as it is worth, so in a way one relishes the pain, I think. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t matter.”
I will mention “The year of magical thinking” by Joan Didion, without any comparison. Because as Barnes says “One grief throws no light upon another” but I believe they belong in the same category and I would wholeheartedly recommend them both to anyone experiencing loss. You will without a doubt find some words to fit your feelings here.